Drought in Ticino, Switzerland has led to water restrictions in 15% of the municipalities and low water levels in lakes and rivers, raising concerns for fish populations and agriculture. Farmers and authorities are taking precautions, including preparing water tanks, as they begin their planting season. The Ticino Water Supply Association plans to launch an app to encourage water conservation, while water providers are urging residents to reduce usage.
The president of the Ticino Water Supply Association said the area had not had sufficient rain in the last 18 months and the situation is expected to worsen due to climate change. The water providers’ association is launching an information campaign to encourage a shift in people’s perception of water availability and to prompt people to conserve water. People had grown up with a feeling of abundance of water supply in the region. Yet, since the drought of 2003, many policies have been implemented and investments accomplished to improve water usage.
The current situation is more difficult than ever and so bans on specific water usage will be implemented. The first measure is to ban pool and paddling pool filling and car washing. And if water levels drop further, to stop watering lawns. The association will inform consumers by mail but will soon release an app that indicates when and for what purposes water usage is allowed, modeled after the “Alertswiss” emergency alert application.
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